Three gas-fired power stations get go-ahead

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has given permission for three new gas-fired power stations to be built. They are RWE Npower’s 2,000 megawatt power station at Pembroke, South Wales, Centrica’s 1,020MW facility at King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and Powerfuel‘s 800MW plant at Hatfield, Yorkshire. Government consent for new power stations is required under the Electricity Act 1989.

Powerfuel also received consent to convert in 2014 its gas-fired plant into a 900MW coal gasification power station, a technique thought to be a promising way to use coal to generate low-carbon energy through carbon capture and storage. If the plant goes ahead, it will be the largest in the world (ENDS Report 396, pp 26-29 ).

RWE Npower hopes to commission its new plant in 2012, but is embroiled in a dispute over the impact of its cooling water system on Milford Haven estuary, a protected area (see p 20 ).

Centrica said it expects to take the final decision on proceeding with the new plant in 2012. If it goes ahead, it will be operating in 2016.

The schemes are among 24 power projects in the UK which have received consent but not yet been built. They total almost 16 gigawatts in capacity and would cost £9.7 billion, according to the Association of Electricity Producers. Gas accounts for 12GW and wind 2.9GW. Most are due to be commissioned in 2009-2012. Projects totalling 8.3GW are seeking consent. Most are gas and wind power, aside from Eon’s proposed Kingsnorth coal-fired power station.

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